Contact: Kelley Bozeman
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left to right: D. Sudharshan, dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics; Bill Gatton, UK Alumnus; Lee T. Todd Jr., president, University of Kentucky; John Allison, president and CEO BB&T; Lee Hess, president of BB&T – Central Kentucky region; Rick Guillaume, president of BB&T – Louisville
“The University of Kentucky is very grateful to BB&T and its charitable foundation for their support of UK and its Gatton College of Business and Economics. We are very fortunate to have partners like BB&T that have made a commitment to higher education and have the foresight to recognize the needs of students and the importance of a university education.”
-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
University of Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2003) -- Students in the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics soon will enjoy the benefits of new facilities, research grants, an annual speaker series, and more through the assistance of $5 million in pledges.
BB&T Corporation and the BB&T Charitable Foundation announced today that they will each pledge $1,250,000 to UK’s Gatton College for a combined total of
$2.5 million. UK graduate C.M. “Bill” Gatton, the college’s namesake and member of BB&T’s board, matched the BB&T gift, also pledging $2.5 million.
“The University of Kentucky is very grateful to Bill Gatton and BB&T and its charitable foundation for their support of UK and its Gatton College of Business and Economics,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “We are very fortunate to have partners like BB&T that have made a commitment to higher education and have the foresight to recognize the needs of students and the importance of a university education.”
The BB&T gifts will support a learning laboratory on capitalism, a speaker series, an annual student paper competition, and annual fellowship and research grant awards. The funds also will assist with construction of the college’s new faculty and administrative building, one of four new Business and Economics buildings the university plans to build on Euclid Avenue. Two of the proposed buildings will be used for classrooms and another for student services.
BB&T, the nation’s 11th largest financial holding company with approximately $91 billion in assets, operates more than 1,350 banking offices in 11 states, including Kentucky, and the District of Columbia.
"As a business institution committed to the ideas and principles of capitalism and a free market, we proudly support the mission and scope of the Gatton College of Business and Economics," said BB&T Chairman and CEO John Allison. "At BB&T, we believe competitive advantage is in the minds of individuals, founded on the premise
that knowledge, properly applied, is the source of superior performance. Gatton College is a business school of the highest quality, committed to teaching its students to become innovative, independent thinkers prepared to deal with complex issues in a rapidly changing, unpredictable world.”
Allison extended his gratitude to Gatton, thanking him for his leadership at BB&T and the University of Kentucky.
“One reason that BB&T is making this contribution is because of Bill’s leadership in our organization and because he agreed to make a matching contribution,” Allison said. “We certainly would have supported the university, but it wouldn't have been as generous if Bill hadn't been willing to make his contribution.”
D. Sudharshan, dean of the Gatton College, said that such private gifts will allow the college to begin work on the new, state-of-the-art facilities that have been proposed.
”We view these significant gifts as investments in the college and the students we serve and as a validation of the mission of UK and the Gatton College,” Sudharshan said. “Our plans to move the college forward recognize that the quality of our students, faculty, programs, and facilities are highly intertwined. This type of philanthropic support allows us to provide exciting new opportunities for our students that will enhance learning, discovery and the practice of leadership.”